Rolls-Royce officially introduced the eighth-generation Phantom after a small leak last month in a Chinese magazine. It looks … about the same. It might be a little more aggressive, imposing, Darth Vader-like, but no one will confuse it for anything but a Phantom.
The general term Rolls throws around is “Architecture of Luxury,” which is basically the new aluminum spaceframe platform that this Roller, in addition to all future Rollers, will roll on. The company says it is focusing on small-batch manufacturers for parts.
“Our approach has been to forge long-term relationships with smaller suppliers run by families that will focus on us, giving us much more attention and therefore results that live within a quality expectation far beyond any other automotive concern,” says Philip Koehn, director of engineering. “For a brand to operate in such a manner within a larger automotive group is unheard of and truly revolutionary.”
The new platform is 30 percent more rigid than the outgoing example, says Rolls, and has been designed to work with “different propulsion, traction and control systems, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.”
It sounds like we won’t just see an SUV in the future but an electric luxury vehicle, too.
A double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear will keep everything controlled while four-wheel steering makes the Phantom more agile, says Rolls. Its “Magic Carpet Ride” system keeps the ride smooth by monitoring speed, steering inputs and the front camera, making adjustments to the self-leveling air suspension.
Two-layer window glazing around the car keeps the cabin quiet, plus more than 280 pounds of sound insulation. It also gets a double-skin alloy within the floor and bulkhead filled with dense foam to keep even more noise out. Furthermore, the tires feature a foam layer inside to “wipe out tire cavity noise,” which is funny, but it does reduce tire noise by 9 decibels, which isn’t a small amount. The quieter McLaren tires on the 570GT only reduce noise by 1 decibel. Overall, Rolls says, the new Phantom VIII is 10 percent quieter than the outgoing model.
A new V12 — same 6.75-liter displacement — makes 663 lb-ft of torque at just 1,700 rpm along with 563 hp. A ZF eight-speed automatic makes the changes and uses a “Satellite Aided Transmission” module that reads the road ahead to prepare the car for any elevation changes.
The Phantom ups the ante on the tech front as well with Alertness Assistant, a four-camera system with panoramic view, all-around visibility including helicopter view, night vision and vision assist, active cruise control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, a head-up display, Wi-Fi hotspot, and navigation and entertainment systems.
We won’t get into what Rolls says about the new exterior design — we handled that in the leaked picture post; suffice it to say, it’s pretty and luxurious.
“When in need of a space to reflect on issues of importance or simply lost in thought, one’s imagination is inspired by the largest Starlight Headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce. High gloss, exquisitely tactile wood paneling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, center consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.”
There you go.
In the back seat, infotainment screens and the rear work/picnic tables are hidden in the front seats while a new rear center console hides whisky glasses and a decanter, champagne flutes and a coolbox.
We’ve emailed for pricing. Until the company gets back to us, figure a bit more than the current Phantom’s sticker of $417,000.